Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – Forced Abortions, Medicare Scams, and Patent Disputes

Dong v. Holder, US 1st Cir. (10/3/12)
Government & Administrative Law, Immigration Law

This case required the First Circuit Court of Appeals to decide, for the first time, whether section 1101(a)(42)(B), a statute enacted to pave the way for asylum for victims of China’s coercive population control policies, extends automatically to a spouse of a person forced to undergo an abortion. Petitioner, a Chinese national, petitioned for asylum, seeking to remain in the United States because of, among other things, his wife’s forced abortion. Petitioner argued he was entitled to per se refugee status under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(B) “as a person who has been forced to abort a pregnancy.” The immigration judge rejected this argument, and the board of immigration appeals affirmed. The First Circuit Court denied Petitioner’s petition for judicial review after joining several of its sister circuits in holding that, given the language of the relevant statute and the Attorney General’s reasonable interpretation of it, the agency did not err in refusing to grant Petitioner’s per se refugee status on the basis that the Chinese government had compelled his wife to undergo a forced abortion.

Read More:
First Circuit: No Automatic Asylum for Chinese Men in Abortion Cases, Wall Street Journal

U.S. v. Tasis , US 6th Cir. (10/4/12)
Government Contracts, Health Law, Public Benefits, White Collar Crime

Tasis and his brother ran a sham medical clinic, recruited homeless Medicare recipients who had tested positive for HIV, hepatitis or asthma, paid the “patients” small sums in exchange for their insurance identification, then billed Medicare for infusion therapies that were never provided. During four months in 2006, the Center billed Medicare $2,855,785 and received $827,000 in return. The scheme lasted 15 months, during which Tasis and his collaborators submitted $9,122,159.35 in Medicare claims. An auditor notified the FBI. After an investigation, prosecutors indicted Tasis on fraud and conspiracy claims. Over Tasis’s objection, co-conspirator Martinez testified that she and Tasis had orchestrated a a similar scam in Florida. The court instructed the jury to consider Martinez’s testimony about the Florida conspiracy only as it related to Tasis’s “intent, plan and knowledge.” The jury found Tasis guilty, and the trial judge sentenced him to 78 months in prison and required him to pay $6,079,445.93 in restitution. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting various challenges to evidentiary rulings.

Microsoft v. Motorola, US 9th Cir. (9/28/12)
Contracts, Intellectual Property, International Law, Patents

In this interlocutory appeal, Motorola appealed from the district court’s preliminary injunction to enjoin Motorola temporarily from enforcing a patent injunction that it obtained against Microsoft in Germany. The underlying case before the district court concerned how to interpret and enforce patent-holders’ commitments to industry standard-setting organizations (SSOs), which established technical specifications to ensure that products from different manufacturers were compatible with each other. Specifically, the case involved the H.264 video coding standard set by International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the 802.11 wireless local area network standard set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The court held that, under the unique circumstances of this case, the district court’s narrowly tailored preliminary injunction was not an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.

Read More:
Ninth Circuit turns down Motorola’s appeal in patent battle with Microsoft, The Seattle Times